James L – Former client at The Chestnuts

Life was a vicious circle of being heavily dependant on using my drug of choice (cocaine). I was isolating myself whilst using and became depressed as a result of it all. I was unemployed, my partner had left me, my relationship with my children had broken down, and I was very lonely.

The therapist I was seeing recommended Steps Together because of the 12 Steps Program and the location which is in the midlands. This was during covid lockdown, and I had to travel back from France which is where I was living at the time. I know other treatment centres had stopped taking in people due to covid so I felt very lucky and relieved that Steps Together were able to take me in.

There were no obstacles stopping me from going into treatment, I knew I had to go into addiction treatment!

It felt very daunting for me on my arrival to Steps Together, I felt scared and apprehensive. I tried to mask this was arrogance. I was made to feel welcome and was looked after by the team at Steps Together. It was lunch time I arrived so all the other clients where there when I arrived which helped me feel at ease.

The most important thing I gained from the therapy programme was how to love myself. Without this, I would of struggled to buy into everything else as I didn’t care enough about myself. Hilary Betts therapy sessions also had a huge positive impact on me.

As part of the therapy programme at Steps Together,  I’m an outdoors person so the spiritual walks were great for me. During those times times I found it easier to speak with the support team that accompanied us on those walks.

Since using the services at Steps Together I now have the best relationship with my children because I understand myself better. In life generally I am a lot calmer, patient and have more time for people, especially for my family. Because of this, my work life has improved as well as my social life.

I have taken up more sports/outdoor activities as I have now have the energy and drive to do them.  I recently climbed Kilimanjaro, something I wouldn’t of entertained a couple of years ago whilst in active addiction.

If there was one word to describe my experience at Steps Together it would be ‘Rewarding’. At times, I found my time at The Chestnuts difficult as I struggled adjusting to the changes I needed to make to myself in my way of thinking. But that hard work over a 6 week period has given me so much back, since I left treatment almost 3 years ago.

Rewards –

  • I feel 100% better in myself now I’m clean.
  • I love myself.
  • Being a good dad for my children. I’m present in their lives.
  • Being able to form good strong relationships with family/friends.
  • Work life is better and so I can provide for myself and my family.

If you’re experiencing difficulties with addiction or poor mental health try not to be so hard on yourself, seek professional help through a therapist and talk to someone. Being stuck in our own heads is not healthy when we start to think negatively. Should you need additional help, please contact a treatment centre.

You are not alone in how you feel. There is help and support to get you through. You can change.